Friday, April 21, 2017

Gluten Free Restaurant Review: Fired Pie

Oh my goodness it's Friday again?! Woot, woot! Boy do I sure love Fridays, especially when it's pay day! Sadly, this Friday wasn't pay day for me but I'm still happy it's Friday. My day job is kind of crazy so it's nice to have a couple of days to refresh and recuperate. It's also a time to try out a new restaurant and report back. This week's gluten free restaurant review is on Fired Pie. They are like the Chipotle of pizza. They have pizza creations already available or you can be adventurous and create your own. They also have salads, desserts and booze! Did I get too excited about the booze part? Probably...but who doesn't enjoy wine or beer with their pizza? <waves> 👋

Why Fired Pie? Welllllllllll...I drive by this place twice a day on my way to work and sometimes I pass by the one near my office. It wasn't until one day I had a mad craving for some pizza that I realized that they have a gluten free pizza option. I pulled the fastest U-Turn known to man when I discovered that information... The Yelp description reminded me of Blaze Pizza which has a similar concept. I had Blaze pizza all the time while I was in California and recently discovered that they are in Tempe near my hair dresser... 😀 So you may see that as a review in the near future.

Since I had been to Blaze Pizza before, I kind of knew what to expect at Fired Pie. As you walk in, you are greeted by the dining room and then there are massive signs with pizza and salad options. There quite a few varieties of pizza options and then if you are feeling fancy, you can build your own pizza. The same goes for the salads. Today I was definitely here for pizza and I wasn't in the mood to create my own so I decided to go with the Pesto Chicken with the gluten free herb crust.
I walk up to the counter and there's a guy in the corner prepping dough to be baked on pizza sheets. The kind of dough I dream about eating. I let the gal at the counter know that I wanted the Pesto Chicken pizza on the gluten free herb crust. She immediately asked if it was an allergy or preference. I let her know it was an allergy. She proceeded with follow up question and warning... "Would you like me to change my gloves?" and also let me know that there is a potential of cross contamination due to sharing a space with gluten products. I let her know that I understood the potential of cross contamination. I also asked her to please change out her gloves. She proceeded to change her gloves and then pulled my crust out of a special fridge below the ingredients. As my pizza got passed down the line of ingredients, each employee changed their gloves to accommodate my allergy needs.

While Fired Pie may not be safe for everyone with food allergies due to the possible cross contamination (i.e. Celiacs), it made feel better that they automatically knew to ask about changing gloves and didn't complain or make faces about it. They just did it, no questions asked and it made me feel safe about the decision of going there and coming back in the future.

So how was the pizza? It was amazing! So good for a $12 pie that had 6 slices and took 10 minutes to bake. They had fresh ingredients and flavors all went well with each other. The herb crust added an extra dimension of flavor that I really enjoyed. It was enough for 2 meals since I'm a pig and ate 3 slices that day and then had the rest the next day. 🐖
I love that they have locations all over the valley and have such a great variety of pizza toppings and salads for those days when I'm craving a salad. Not sure what kind of dessert options they have for us gluten free peeps as I didn't ask. They also have gluten free beer and wine if you need a drinky drank with your pie.

Let me know what you think of Fired Pie when you visit! You can't go wrong with $12 gluten free pizza where take out can be less than 15 minutes. Where should I go next?!

Please note - this is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I wasn't compensated from the establishment to provide this review. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tip Tuesday: How to Meal Prep Like a Boss

 How many of you meal prep on a weekly basis to keep yourself accountable? [insert crickets]

It's ok if you don't. Now is the time to change that! Accountability may include dietary goals/needs, budget, saving time, etc. I have always been one to pack lunches at work to save money but also it helps with maintaining the figure. It wasn't until I lost 25 pounds that I really started meal prepping and carefully documenting what I was eating to meet my fitness goals. This "Tip Tuesday" post will show you how to meal prep like a boss. It may seem daunting at first, but once you get into the habit of meal prepping several times a week, you'll be come a pro like me!

Here's the top 3 things you need to be a meal prep boss:
1. Plan your menu
2. Grocery shopping
3. Prep & Cook

Are you ready?! Here we go!

#1 - Plan Your Menu

You're probably asking... But Timo, how am I supposed to know what I want to eat for the week on the weekend? Easy. Look in different places for inspiration. My biggest source of inspiration is Pinterest. Type in key words of the types of foods you enjoy and you will be bombarded by so many options you won't know what to do with. You can also find a lot of recipes on Instagram or Facebook. I typically look for things that will be good as left overs or you can prep ahead and then make the day of. I will typically plan to meal prep 2 times during the week so I don't get bored or burned out on the same thing 5 days in a row. It keeps things fresh and interesting during the week. I will also plan lunch and dinner as I have the same thing for breakfast erryday. I'm not even kidding. I usually make my 5 Minute Breakfast Sandwich because it takes 5 minutes (duh) and it's easy to make and take to work. I generally eat 2 meals at my desk at work. I know this is not a good thing, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

I typically make one-pan meals like my Picadillo or One Pan Sausage and Peppers if I'm feeling particularly lazy on Meal Prep Sundays. Or I'll throw easy ingredients and make bowls like a Chicken Burrito Bowl or a Greek Chicken Rice Bowl. The possibilities are endless and you get the picture. Easy prep and cooking are my go to for lunches and dinners. If you like doing crock-pot meals, you can also do that and have your dinner cooking while you're at work. I also try to stick to ingredients that are in season so that I'm adhering to my financial budget as well.

Meal prep for me usually happens on Sundays. Why? Because it's the day before the work week where I can dedicate 2-3 hours for prepping and cooking meals for the upcoming week. I will fully cook lunch and dinner for the next 2-3 days and then do another meal prep day on Wednesdays for the rest of the week. I will prep the veggies and marinades for the meats on Sundays so they are ready to go by Wednesday night so I can throw them in a pan and cook them in less than 30 minutes. It's a time saver like no other. I will also prep any snacks that I plan on eating during the day like fruit or nuts. By prepping I mean portioning the amounts into plastic baggies or Tupperware containers.

#2 - Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping usually happens on a Friday (turn up!) or Saturday depending on how anti-social I'm feeling. Ha. Grocery shopping on Friday nights is the best because there's hardly anyone in the store which makes for a quick trip. The 2 most crucial things for a successful shopping trip are: 1.) A grocery list (doesn't count if you leave it on the counter!) and 2.) Shopping on a full stomach otherwise you will buy the whole store. If you stick to your list, I guarantee that you will save money and spend less time at the store. I'm not sure about you, but I'm not the biggest fan of grocery shopping. The less time I spend there, the better!

 #3 - Prep & Cook

This is probably the most time consuming part of meal prep, but the rewards of saving time later on in the week will totally be worth it. I have a demanding job and there are many nights that having meals already prepped in the fridge have saved me from making unhealthy decisions with take-out (Filiberto's anyone?) and saved me $10-$15.

Here's the method to my madness when it comes to Prep & Cook:
  • Marinate meats first
  • Cook grains (rice, quinoa, pasta, etc.) 
  • Wash and cut/chop/dice veggies
  • Cook meats and then veggies
  • Allow food to cool before putting in storage containers (I use Pyrex but Tupperware works well too)
For me it is crucial to put each individual meal into its own container because it really helps save on time in the morning when I'm in a mad dash to get to work. Ain't no body got time to put food in containers in the morning! I sure don't.

Hopefully these tips have helped you out to successfully start meal prepping on your own. It really helps when you are trying to save money on eating out or trying to lose weight or both. It makes a difference for me since I have a sensitive stomach and eating out too much can make me sick. Meal prepping helps avoid pesky issues like that.

What tips can you add to this list that I may have missed?